Four years ago, Washington defeated Seattle University 4-2 at Husky Soccer Stadium in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, in a season that culminated in the UW advancing to its first and only Elite Eight.
But on a 43 degree night on the very same field, fate wasn’t so kind to the UW, as an overtime golden goal sent it home and Seattle U to the second round in a 3-2 tournament defeat in front of a crowd of 1,945.
From the opening kickoff, Seattle U felt like the home team, as many of its fans tailgated in the parking lot before the gates opened and occupied almost three entire sections of the bleachers. Its mascot also showed up.
This crowd presence energized the team from the start, as two minutes into the game, freshman forward Habib Barry got a quick opportunity to score, but his shot into the bottom corner was saved at the last moment by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Saif Kerawala.
Although the Redhawks (15-3-4) dominated possession in the opening five minutes, it was the Huskies (12-7-1, 5-4-1 Pac-12) who controlled the ball the majority of the period. The UW frequently made runs into Seattle U’s box, and had many good chances to score, tallying nine shots and two on goal in the first half.
And in the 23rd minute, the Dawgs were rewarded. Freshman midfielder Blake Bodily made a run down the left side, and once he entered the box he laced in a cross to redshirt junior forward Kyle Coffee, who scored his sixth goal of the season from point-blank range for the early 1-0 advantage. Coffee was near the goal often in the first half, attempting four shots.
In the 38th minute, Seattle U retaliated, as junior midfielder Sergio Rivas found Barry as he made a run behind the defense. Kerawala came out to try to save it, but Barry scooted the ball past him and into the back of the net to make the score 1-1.
Early in the second half, the Redhawks furiously attacked the Huskies’ goal. In the 46th minute, Rivas made some dazzling moves to get past defenders, and took a hard shot that Kerawala stuck his foot out to and saved.
In the 53rd minute, sophomore midfielder John Magnus had a header off of a corner that was inches away from going in, but a Redhawk defender made a kick save at the last moment and booted the ball away.
But for the most part, Seattle U controlled the ball and the pace of play for the first 20 minutes of the second half. This came to a head in the 62nd minute, when Rivas, who assisted the first goal, put move after move on UW defenders, and whizzed a shot past Kerawala into the back post that gave Seattle U the lead and ignited its surprisingly large section of the crowd.
“I thought we actually kept [Rivas and Rolden] pretty quiet today,” head coach Jamie Clark said. “Rivas was magic in a couple of moments when he slipped the ball through, but for the most part, I’ve seen those guys impact games in big ways and get big shots, and I thought our guys did a good job tonight. Good players take their chances and that’s what they did.”
A couple of injuries stopped play and slowed the game down, but in the 71st minute Washington got a great chance to tie the game, when redshirt sophomore forward Joey Parish took a shot from five yards out, and the keeper made a great save to preserve his team’s lead.
“Second half they did a good job, they went very direct and locked us in and pinned us in,” Clark said. “Every set piece was in our box and we didn’t fight our way out of it for that 10-15 minute period, and we got a little impatient with our defending, maybe, and they got a great goal. And then I think they sat too far back and made the game easy for us and made it one-way again, but they allowed it.”
Things looked bleak for the Huskies, until a moment in the 79th minute, when sophomore forward Elijah Rice used his blazing speed to beat the Seattle defense downfield, leading to a one-on-one chance against the keeper which he easily put away to tie the score.
Late on in regulation, the Redhawks got a beautiful chip through-ball into Rivas, and could have given his squad a victory, but redshirt sophomore defender Ryan Degroot, who made only his third start, got in front of Rivas and took the ball away, sending the game into overtime.
Almost eight minutes into overtime, senior midfielder Alex Roldan found an opening in the box to make a pass to freshman midfielder Gabriel Ruiz, whose shot toward the back post was slightly deflected, but ended up finding the top right corner anyways for the winning goal, sending the Redhawks’ fans in the stands onto the field as they mobbed their team in front of the home crowd.
“It’s become a good rivalry game, it’s a lot of fun, but in the end it’s really only fun if you end up on the winning side, so we’d trade our win over them a month ago for this one, for sure,” Clark said.
Reach reporter Chris Angkico at email@example.com. Twitter: @chrisangkico